Family of Missing Pa. Woman, Joey Offutt, Seeks Answers - Joey is still missing after 5 years!

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Normal Family of Missing Pa. Woman, Joey Offutt, Seeks Answers - Joey is still missing after 5 years!

Post by lisette on Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:28 pm


The family of a west-central Pennsylvania woman missing since the remains of her infant son were found in her burned home four years ago is now offering a $25,000 reward for information on her whereabouts.
State police have yet to determine whether Joey Lynn Offutt, who would now be 37, was abducted or killed, or whether she left of her own accord after the fire that destroyed her home on July 12, 2007 in Sykesville, about 75 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. The remains of a six-week-old boy found in the fire were later determined to be those of Offutt's son, though her two daughters -- now 12 and 6 years old -- weren't home and continue to live with relatives, according to Jason Hungerford, Offutt's nephew and spokesman for her family.

"We believe it was foul play," said Hungerford, 34, of Ithaca, N.Y. "Above all else, Joey was a mother. She would never willingly leave her children behind."
Trooper Jamie LeVier, a spokesman for the state police barracks in Punxsutawney, said the case is still being actively investigated by the same detective who was assigned to it when Offutt disappeared. The cause of the baby's death has never been released by investigators, LeVier said Monday.
The case was featured on Fox television's "America's Most Wanted" in 2008 but, aside from the highly publicized discovery of Offutt's car four days after the fire, police have said little about any leads in the case.
"It's really just the same. No leads, no movements, we're at a standstill," Hungerford said Monday, noting that police update the family periodically.
Offutt's family, primarily her three older sisters and their divorced parents, have pooled their money and periodically raised the reward offered by the family through a Web site they maintain: www.findjoey.org . On Monday, the family raised the reward from $20,000 to $25,000.
Hungerford said Offutt's family, who live mostly in northern Virginia, are considering organizing fundraisers so they can perhaps raise the reward.
"We would love it if we could do a $50,000 reward, but right now we're a family of modest means," he said.
Police have never identified or charged a suspect in the fire, nor have they specified whether they believe Offutt is dead.
Hungerford, the son of Offutt's oldest sister, said the family believes she is dead because her oldest daughter had a birthday a little more than two weeks after she disappeared.
"I know in my heart, if Joey was on the run, she would have called" on her daughter's birthday, Hungerford said. "When it very first happened, we weren't quite sure what happened. But within a few weeks, when we hadn't heard from her, we knew something was wrong."
Hungerford would not name Offutt's daughters, but said they now live separately with relatives.
The oldest girl was fathered by a man Offutt didn't marry. Offutt was separated from the father of her younger daughter and infant son, Hungerford said.
"I would describe their relationship as on-again, off-again. They were trying to work things out," Hungerford said.
Hungerford said he believes somebody else drove his aunt's car to State College, where it was found parked in a lot at an apartment complex where she formerly lived.
"The police picture shows it was backed into a parking space, perfectly between the two lines," Hungerford said. "Frankly, Joey was a horrible driver and she would never have backed up her car in the space and, if she did, it would not have been perfectly between the two lines."

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/07/11/family-missing-pa-woman-seeks-answers/#ixzz1RqlxVMXZ
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Normal Re: Family of Missing Pa. Woman, Joey Offutt, Seeks Answers - Joey is still missing after 5 years!

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:29 pm

Missing woman’s family ups reward
By Mike Dawson — mdawson@centredaily.com
Posted: 4:00am on Jul 12, 2011
Modified: 7:40pm on Jul 22, 2011

The family of a woman missing since her home in Jefferson County burned four years ago is increasing the reward being offered in the case, in the hope someone will come forward with information on her whereabouts.

The reward for information on Joey Lynn Offutt has been increased from $20,000 to $25,000, Offutt’s nephew and family spokesman Jason Hungerford said Monday.

Offutt’s Sykesville home caught fire early on the morning of July 12, 2007. When the flames were extinguished, the remains of Offutt’s 6-week-old son were found. The cause of the fire was determined to be arson, police said.

Offutt and her car were missing. Her two other children weren’t home at the time of the fire and now live with family.

Her car, a red Saturn with Virginia plates, was found four days later at the Nittany Gardens apartment complex in State College, where she previously had lived.

Hungerford said Offutt lived in State College for “maybe two years,” moved to Warrenton, Va., then sought a “fresh start” in Sykesville, a small town on the border of Jefferson and Clearfield counties with which she had no prior connection. She had lived there for about five months before she disappeared.

State police at DuBois said there have been no new leads on the case, which remains open.

The family believes Offutt was the victim of a crime and is likely dead.

“There is no way she would willingly leave her children behind,” Hungerford said. “Above all, Joey was a mother. She lived for her children.”

Offutt is described as petite, about 5 feet 3 inches with a thin build, brown eyes and brown or red-brown hair. More information about Offutt can be found at findjoey.org.

Anyone with information is asked to call 877-440-JOEY or police at 371-4652.

Read more: http://www.centredaily.com/2011/07/12/2829450/missing-womans-family-ups-reward.html#ixzz1XW5rfpr6

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Normal Re: Family of Missing Pa. Woman, Joey Offutt, Seeks Answers - Joey is still missing after 5 years!

Post by lisette on Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:30 am

Joey Lynn Offutt still missing after 5 years

By Brittany Boyer
SYKESVILLE, Pa. — Many people are wondering what happened to Joey Lynn Offutt, and if she is still alive.

Thursday marks five years since the then-33-year-old Sykesville woman went missing.

It was July 12, 2007, when her home along Dr.Fugate Drive in Sykesville went up in flames. More than 100 firefighters rushed to the scene that early morning to what they thought was a typical structure fire. However, everything changed once they got inside of the house.

It took about three hours to extinguish the fire. Chief Kevin Yamrick of the Sykesville Fire Department said once the fire was out, they found what appeared to be human remains in the bathroom.

Investigators later determined that the remains were of Offutt's 6-week-old son.

The investigation took a sharp turn when Offutt was nowhere to be found. The woman's red Saturn with Virginia license plates was missing.

Four days later, Offutt's vehicle was found parked in State College at Nittany Gardens where she had previously lived.

Police were still unable to find Offutt.

Five years later, firefighters in Sykesville still remember that morning like it was yesterday.

"It's something that until you get answers, it will always be on your mind," said Yamrick.

Offutt's family told 6 News that there have been no new leads in the investigation. For Yamrick, he said he will never forget the morning of July 12, 2007.

"Most fires we go to very rarely are they fatal, and very rarely does anyone get hurt. But it does happen and usually those ones are definitely more emotional," he said.

The family said that the last five years have been difficult for them.

"It was a disheartening day. We thought we did a really good job with the fire and everything, and then later to find human remains..." said Yamrick.

To this day nobody has come forward explaining they know what happened to Offutt or what happened to baby Alexis.

State police ruled the fire as arson.

In light of the five-year anniversary, the family released this statement: "It is with great sadness that our family marks the fifth anniversary of Joey Lynn Offutt's disappearance from her Sykesville, Pa., home. Not a day goes by that we are not missing her and thinking of her, and desperately seeking answers to what happened to her and her son, whose remains were found in her burned down home five years ago. Her other two children are doing well, considering the circumstances, but we wish to give them a sense of peace and closure by letting them know what happened to their mother. Unfortunately the police have exhausted all leads in the case, but we have not given up hope. We still want answers, and are still offering a $25,000 reward to anyone with information which leads us to discovering where she is."
The family is still offering a $25,000 reward. You can contact state police in Punxsutawney or call the hotline set up for this case: 1-877-440-JOEY

http://www.wjactv.com/news/news/Joey-Lynn-Offutt-Still-Missing/nPr9h/
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Post by Wrapitup on Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:44 am

My goodness..5 years and she's still missing???

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Normal Re: Family of Missing Pa. Woman, Joey Offutt, Seeks Answers - Joey is still missing after 5 years!

Post by lisette on Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:04 pm

Interesting analysis of case:

I think there is a very great chance this woman is alive, even though her mother's thoughts seem to be going in the opposite direction of despair-- after all this time. Her mother's pain is very apparent on this show. I tend to think she was coached by the FBI or someone in law enforcement on the words she used at the end of the episode where she spoke directly to a theoretical abductor. They seemed calculated to be exculpatory and forgiving, which is probably a smart tactic. Well, it's a smart tactic if the hypothesized abductor and/or murderer has some semblance of a conscience.

I tend to believe that Joey Lynn Offutt solicited the assistance of a man with whom she had prior familiarity.

The show states that the way the car was parked in an apartment complex where Offutt had formerly resided was not typical of her driving skills. And the seat was set not for the petite Offutt but for a driver who was probably a larger man.

The show doesn't draw any conclusions from the fact that Offutt's car was found here, but I find it hard to believe any rational viewer would not immediately draw a number of inferences from that highly significant fact.

The odds that this car randomly ended up back at a place where Offutt once lived are about zero.

Offutt had had a bitter fight with her current love interest. She stopped speaking to him and went into one of her typical withdrawals. She was known to have attacks of rage. Offutt might have been suffering from postpartum depression, which is a condition in which young children under the care of such a person can be in mortal danger. The last fight with her on/off romantic partner had been over the bathing of the baby (in a dirty sink). That is when Offutt stormed off and stopped speaking with this man.

This baby was later found dead in a bathtub after the fire. The fire marshal said the baby had most likely died prior to the fire (so probably drowned).

Offutt's loved ones repeatedly said things that indicated this young woman had some cognitive difficulties and possibly mental health issues. They didn't explicitly state whether it was a mental health or mental retardation (hate that word, is there a newer medical term?) issue. But it was clear that people had to do a little extra "looking out" for Joey. And I was really impressed with the love with which her family did this for her. I was really moved by her mother buying her that house to give her security. And Joey seemed to love that house. But she clearly was unstable and I think this latest birth might have sent her over the edge.

The car returns and vanishes from Offutt's Sykesville home several times during the week of unsure whereabouts. Offutt may or may not be the one driving the vehicle during this time. The car was seen there roughly an hour prior to the time the house fire was called in, which was approximately four a.m.

I honestly believe she solicited the help of a man she knew from before. Someone who lived in or near that apartment complex. I believe this was a romantic involvement. Men don't put themselves in situations like this without there being a romantic involvement usually. Probably this guy is not that bright. Because there seem to be a number of bad decisions.

I don't believe she happened to reach out to someone from her past and he just happened to kill her baby and then come back and burn down her house and then park the car at an apartment complex where she once lived.

Here's the problem though. The car parked there could be a red herring meant to throw us off the trail. But a random person she met on the internet (Offutt had a tendency to do this) would almost certainly not know she had lived in that apartment complex, how to find it, etc.

Her partner Alexis, however, would have known that. Watching the show, I got the impression that he was genuine and that his grief over what happened was genuine. But you can't go by intuition. He did fail the first lie detector test, but those are notoriously unreliable. People have spent half their lives in jail because of faith in the results of these tests and, in some instances, the results have later been completely and unequivocally invalidated.

Let's just entertain a scenario. She storms off because she's not taking care of the baby in a manner suitable to her partner. Let's say she drowns the baby in a fit of postpartum depression. Her partner discovers this and kills her in retaliation. He disposes of her body and later returns to burn down the house to dispose of evidence. He parks the car in the apartment complex where she once lived to send police down the bunny trail.

It could have happened that way. I'm not sure how likely that is.

I tend to think the death of the baby, accidental or otherwise, was at Offutt's hands. The fact that it was a bathtub. The maybe fact that she was suffering from postpartum depression.

The police didn't mention finding Offutt's partner's fingerprints in that vehicle but it looks like the seat was last set by a man of about his size (yeah, I know, "and about half the population").

But it's one of only two possibilities, really.

Either he did this. Or she knew another man from her past and returned there because she wanted his assistance.

If this other hypothetical man from her past murdered her, why would he leave the car parked where he lived? Or even in the part of the state where he lived?

If Offutt decided to go on the run with this man, then it didn't really matter where they left her car. It might almost be a signal to her mother stating "I am still alive." Because it speaks of a deliberate flight.

My guess is that if she did flee after an accidental or postpartum death of her child, you'd want to look for tenants in that complex (or even nearby apartment complexes) who vacated or even broke lease in that period or immediately thereafter.

The arson would make sense with either theory: the partner murdering her and leaving the vehicle there as a red herring OR with her trying to hide the baby's death at her hands. In both cases.

What I do NOT believe happened is that she was murdered by a random man who then came back (DAYS later) to burn down the house.

A random murderer (say if this were your typical sex crime) would probably not have murdered the baby and we would probably have just found Offutt's body as well in that house. Plus, days would not have elapses. Murderers who do this tend to start the blaze immediately after the commission of the crime.

Offutt was seen in a distracted state sometime in the week of non-communication pushing a stroller with no baby in it and did not respond to a greeting from an individual she usually greeted. This points to her deliberately hiding and really draws a picture of postpartum depression for me.

I think it is more likely she fled than that she was murdered.

My intuition (and my intuition has been wrong before) is that her partner Alexis is exactly what he seems.

The only thing that really made me suspicious was his meekness in not trying to get inside that house for such an extended period of time. The police said the notes he left were found and they have even stated he is not a suspect or "person of interest" in this case.

So I tend to think this is a case of a tragic death from postpartum depression (and these women are really not fully responsible when this happens).

I think Offutt fled with this other individual. Possibly they did not even flee. I know they posted fliers all over that apartment complex but she could still even be living there, only coming out under cover of darkness. It wouldn't really surprise me. Stranger things have happened.

I think there is a much greater than 90% chance that this woman is still alive.

My intuition tells me she is alive as well. If that counts for anything.

http://joebrainardspajamas.blogspot.com/search/label/Joey%20Lynn%20Offutt
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Normal Re: Family of Missing Pa. Woman, Joey Offutt, Seeks Answers - Joey is still missing after 5 years!

Post by lisette on Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:06 pm

Follow-up to article above:

Thursday, April 26, 2012
I Heard from Joey Lynn Offutt's Nephew
I heard from Joey's nephew Jason, who appreciated my analysis of the facts in her disappearance. I do believe Joey Offutt is alive, but probably just very afraid of what will happen if she contacts anyone. I suggested that if the police have no pending charges, it might be a good idea to put that out as public information so that if Joey reads it, she will know it's okay to return home. They said no manner of death was determined for her child, so I can't see how they could charge her with anything there. I'm not sure if an arson charge would be relevant if she didn't collect any insurance money? Even if the child's death was a complete accident, it could be that Offutt felt she could not face her ex, whom she had stopped talking to precisely because he had criticized her mothering skills. So I could see someone running away from a situation like that in terror. If she's out there. If she's reading this, she should call home. Just go to a pay phone and call. Use a spoof card or something where it's untraceable. Let your family hear your voice and tell them you're alive. Nobody blames you.

http://joebrainardspajamas.blogspot.com/2012/04/i-heard-from-joey-lynn-offutts-nephew.html
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